On Friday, January 8, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium arrived at the Musée d’Ixelles in Brussels to view the exhibition, Nervia/Laethem-Saint-Martin: Traits d’union.
This special exhibition showcases two Belgian arts groups that played an important role on the Belgian artistic scene during the interwar period: The Laethem group in the northern countries which included amongst others, Gustave Van de Woestyne and Valerius de Saedeleer and, in south, towards the Hainaut axis, Nervia, with Anto Carte and Léon Navez. These artists favoured a serene atmosphere and warm palette. Their works are brought together for the first time and reveal the numerous areas of convergence as well as the differences between the two groups.
Curated by Ms. Catherine Verleysen from the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Gand and Mr. Michel De Reymaeker from the Musée des Beaux-arts Mons, developed the exhibition which emphasizes the similarities – of inspiration, form and technique – between the painters of Laethem-Saint-Martin and the Nervia group. They aimed to evoke a kinship rather than point out differences.
As such, they require the viewer to call upon some traditional knowledge such as chronology, remembering the old days, different influences and generations. But beyond this, they require a desire to see, to observe and to be freed from constraint in order to better understand the image.
Nervia/Laethem-Saint-Martin: Traits d’union will be open to the public until January 17, 2016 at the Musée d’Ixelles.
Photo courtesy of the Belgian royal court